Life Insurance for 81 Years Old

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  • Post last modified:March 27, 2021

The older you grow, the harder it seems to buy life insurance. It is more expensive, and more insurance carriers will deny you a policy. But this isn’t always the case. Even as an 81 years old person, you can still buy life insurance.

Here are the facts.

A Few Carriers Still Offer Life Insurance to 81 Years Old

There are life insurance companies that offer insurance for 81-year-olds. In fact, there are even some which offer insurance to people beyond 81, some even extending to those living in their early 90s.

However, the challenge lies in finding a good policy that will suit you best.

Let’s be honest, premiums for those beyond 80 years old aren’t the same as those below 80. The main reason you may have for refusing to buy life insurance at age 81 is you can’t afford the costs.

But with enough patience, with enough shopping, and with enough knowledge on how to purchase a good life insurance policy as an 81-year old, you can have a life insurance policy that will prove beneficial in the long run.

Why Buy Life Insurance as an 81-Year-Old?

why life insurance at 81

There are a lot of deterrents to buying life insurance as an 81-year-old. As someone who is already retired, you have a limited source of income.

And since premiums for a life insurance policy at that age isn’t cheap, it is reasonable to avoid life insurance altogether.

However, there are a few convincing arguments one can make to buy life insurance that late in life.

Covering the Final Expenses

One good reason to buy life insurance at age 81 is to ensure that your final expenses will be covered.

You don’t want to put a burden on your surviving family if it can be helped. One big burden on families is when their loved ones die.

Aside from the emotional burden, there’s also the huge expense of the funeral. Since the 1980s, funeral costs have steadily risen.

Today, it’s not uncommon for an average funeral to cost up to $9000 or more depending on whether it’s a burial or a cremation. Other factors that might make this price higher are the type of material used for the urn or caskets.

Although the government will provide your family help for the funeral, that help wouldn’t even make a dent.

The Social Security Administration will provide a lump sum of $255, and where will your family get the rest?

A good life insurance policy can cover that expense. This does not mean that a life insurance policy places a value on your life; life is priceless.

But it does help family survivors transition a lot more smoothly.

Unpaid Debts

Though it is highly unlikely that someone at that age still has debts, it’s a possibility.

The medical risks due to aging, income reductions in the past decades, and higher healthcare costs made it harder for seniors to comfortably control their financials.

You don’t want to leave your family with a hefty debt, so life insurance coverage is a good option.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, debt ballooned for seniors. Mortgage, student loans, you name it, all kinds of debts are permeating themselves into the lives of seniors these days.

This is a trend that can be traced back decades. So, even if you’ve been retired for almost twenty years, you may still hold debt.

Leaving a Financial Legacy

Another reason why you might want to shop for a life insurance policy is to leave your family’s monetary inheritance.

That’s the beauty of life insurance benefits, the money can be used for practically ANYTHING.

Upon the death of the policyholder, the carrier will give the agreed-upon amount of money to the beneficiary(s) in cash.

The tax has no claim on it, it’s all for the beneficiary. And they can use it for whatever they want.

They can pay debts, arrange the funeral, buy a car, or put it in a savings account. And which money-lender, funeral manager, car dealer, or bank will refuse to be paid in cash?

And depending on how big the coverage you purchase in your insurance plan, your beneficiary can better improve their financial standing.

Types of Life Insurance Policies  Perfect for 81-Year-Olds

types of policies

There are a lot of insurance types available to people already 81 years old. But the type that will be perfect for you depends on your needs, financial capability, and health status.

Term Life Insurance

There are a lot of benefits to a term policy, especially for someone already 81 years old. Here are the reasons why.

For an 81-year old woman in the United States, the average life expectancy is close to 9 years. Seven years is the average for a man of the same age.

This is according to a comparative study published in PubMed. For someone aged 81, there’s a high probability that you might pass away within ten years.

This means that getting a 10-year term insurance policy will likely result in your family receiving the benefits.

And if you outlive the policy, don’t worry yet, you can renew the policy on a year-to-year basis until the age of 95.

Other benefits of a term life insurance policy include cheaper and steady premiums. This means that the low premiums you pay this month will be the same until the insurance matures.

With term life insurance, you won’t have to unnecessarily throw bags of bucks down the drain for premiums.

Some companies allow you to convert a term life insurance into a permanent policy if you outlive it. Others allow you to renew your term life policy.

But the premiums will increase every time you renew. Other carriers will give you a partial refund or receive other benefits when you outlive your policy.

When shopping for a term life policy, it’s best to consider all your options in the long run before signing any contracts.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance, or burial insurance, is nothing more than whole life insurance with a marketable name.

It is practically still whole life insurance with only enough coverage for burial, funeral, medical bills, or other final expenses, hence the name.

Normally, the death benefit can range from $2000 to $50,000. The premiums are a lot more affordable than many other types of insurance policies.

And since the coverage is smaller than other policies, it’s easier to qualify for this type of policy.

You won’t probably need a full medical examination, but there might be a few questions you need to answer about your medical history in the past couple of years.

The questions may include:

  • Are you suffering from any heart diseases?
  • Are you currently bed-ridden or in need of hospice care?
  • Are you suffering from any form of dementia (i.e Alzheimer’s disease)?
  • Have you tested positive for AIDS or HIV?
  • Do you have cancer?

These are just a few sample questions that you might be asked. But you won’t need a full medical examination to qualify. Companies ask these questions to make sure that you are not at great risk of passing away.

One of the great things about a final expense insurance policy is that it has a long list of pre-existing medical conditions that are not a huge factor in obtaining insurance.

Your health problems are graded based on severity and how long you’ve had it.

For more serious problems, you might have to pay premiums for a couple of years before fully paying up your insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

This may seem counterintuitive, but a whole life insurance policy is a good option even for someone already 81 years old.

Life expectancy is steadily getting longer. If you are someone with relatively good health, whole life insurance may be a more affordable option for you in the long run.

In a term insurance policy, you have the benefit of lower premiums. However, if you outlive your policy and have to renew it yearly afterward, it’ll get more expensive.

But in a whole life insurance policy, you can have fixed premiums that will never change no matter what. This is a  huge benefit for 81-year-olds who are receiving a fixed income.

This means that over time, the longer you pay for whole life insurance, the more affordable it gets compared to a term life insurance you have to renew yearly after the initial term.

The key to qualifying for a whole life insurance policy at age 81 is stellar health, not necessarily perfect health. But if you make it to the best health qualification, your premiums are certain to be lower.

If you’ve never had a history of serious diseases such as diabetes or heart failure, and if you’re not a smoker, you have the best chances of qualifying for a more affordable whole life insurance.

To make the best decision, talk to an insurance agent. An agent can help you navigate through insurance shopping.

Second-to-Die Policy

This option works best for couples who want to leave an inheritance for their family. This policy only gives the agreed-upon amount to the beneficiaries once the two policyholders die.

So, let’s say that you and your partner keep this insurance policy, and one of you dies, the money benefits will not yet be released to your beneficiaries, not until the other policyholder passes away.

The major benefit of this policy is you can save a few thousand in premiums per year. Of course, this also means that the death of the first policyholder will not be covered.

But it also means that you and your partner don’t have to keep two separate insurance accounts.

Single-Premium Life Insurance

This is another option for someone in their 80s. As the name suggests, you’d only have to pay one lump sum upfront. And you already have a paid life insurance policy. It will begin building its cash value straightaway.

The size of the death benefit in this insurance policy depends on the amount invested as well as the age and health of the policyholder.

The more you pay upfront, the bigger the benefit will be. And if you live long after the initial payment, your investment has more time to grow.

Best Life Insurance Carriers for 81 Years Old

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is extremely senior-friendly. It’s known for its more affordable insurance policies available to seniors than other carriers.

And it is widely available; every 81-year-old in any state except New York can apply for a policy

There’s no waiting period if approved. The best deals can be arranged via agencies.

There are a lot of options Mutual of Omaha offers, and if you’re offered a good deal, you’d better take it. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a better offer elsewhere.


Aetna accepts applicants as old as 89 years old. Their pricing is competitive for the 45 to 89-year-old age bracket.

Aetna is a great option for those who are not in excellent health. They accept many health issues.

The only trouble with Aetna is they’re not available in Alaska, California, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, District of Columbia, Washington, and Vermont.


This carrier is available in all states. They accept applicants up to 85 years old. They accept health issues that other carriers will not even consider.

The only problem with them is they’re not the cheapest option. But their prices are near other carriers’.

Apply for Life Insurance Today!

At 81 years old, there’s no better time to apply for life insurance. It’s now or never.

The prices aren’t as cheap as for younger people, but if you want to help your family financially when you pass away, life insurance works best.

So talk to an agent like us. Start shopping. Consider all options. And be insured today!

Linda Chavez

I'm a burial & senior life insurance expert, independent agent, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder. I have been working in this sector since 2004 and established my own company in 2014. I have a team of seven members, and we are trying hard to share the knowledge we've gathered. We know how difficult often it is to find an affordable policy. Hence, we are doing our best to help you.